Puns are Like Poop
I love puns. I love teaching them, I love waiting those few seconds for someone who has just learned them to Get The Joke after hearing one. Puns are miraculous and beautiful. Part of the magic is that they can provide chuckles, even if those chuckles have intermingled groans in them. For example, read these little gems:
A dad takes his little boy to the zoo. They stop in the African section and an animal roars. The dad says, "Oh, don't listen to him; he's lion." (Slap your knee. that was funny!)
Here's a Star Wars pun: What is the internal temperature of a Tauntaun? Luke warm.
They can also be used in serious writing. From Romeo and Juliet in Act I, scene IV: Romeo: “Give me a torch: I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy, I will bear the light.”
Here's a sad pun: Nastia's chances in the Olympics are not Liukin good. (GROAN)
My issue with puns isn't really the puns themselves, because I love even the bad ones; however, there are those who do not like even the worst of the worst, and when writers create bad puns, the apology comes in the form of the phrase "excuse the pun." I think the fact that a person could come up with a pun on the spur of the moment is like finding a five-dollar bill in a pocket of a pair of pants while doing the laundry.Perhaps the writer uses that phrase to be sure that others get the joke, too. It is kind of like a two year old who poops in the potty and must show off the poop for all to see before seeing it disappear forever. Don't worry, another one will come along. Puns are part of who we are. We may not understand them at first, but we do know how to create them.
I will not excuse the pun. Obviously, it should not have been excused or else the person would have clicked the Backspace key for as many letter strokes as the pun took. I say embrace them. Give them a good hug and a squeeze for seriousness. If you have the balls to juggle with words, don't excuse them.